Covenant Development

Yes, that's her 20 points from the Build Points--everything here is meant to apply immedidately.

Oops missed that--thanks. Disturbing though the statues might be, Aesthetics is mostly about what would impress a Hermetic magus, not so much about what looks pretty. BTW, lifting the curse could conceivably revive these men, though since we're extending the story rather than changing it, that doesn't seem likely. If they were revived, it's not clear whether the men would be human or fae at this point, and if they were human, they would likely die if they left the regio...soooo, either way, Viola would have roommates.

Yes, after we gave her 5 pawns of vis (enough to restore her familiar, plus one extra). That was in one of the threads I read back on, I think "Haunted Covenant".

Aura...um...foo. No one else noticed that before, when we were making the original plans. :stuck_out_tongue: What did she have extra botch dice from? And any recall of what her Golden Cord was like? But yeah, 10 extra dice is a lot. That could be truly spectacular. (Did you know regio botch dice were doubled? I just found that rule. No wonder Hermetic magi are terrified of Faerie regiones.) OTOH, I really don't want to have to spend an extra two seasons setting up that lab...Viola is already spending one season to investigate the hypocaust, a second to investigate the Perdo vis source (which, now that I think about it, might just stick around, if the first part of Halia's story doesn't change), and a third to learn Aegis of the Hearth.

So why don't we try this: let's see if we can trade for a copy of The Ambulatory Laboratory (Covenants pg. 122). Viola can learn it easily, and cast it successfully, though she'll probably take Fatigue. A side benefit is that we could use it to relocate at least a few more labs, after suitable spaces are available; we could set up at least one of them in the central room of each cave level. In the end, we end up actually saving seasons of work, for both Viola and Gregorius.

If we go this route, I think that Viola will use one of the other labs for the time being, and wait to move her equipment until the regio is ready--that could mean instantly gaining one or more additional Virtues that weren't paid for with Build Points, but given that transforming the regio is going to require at least two seasons of work (including the trip and the creation of the new story), that doesn't seem like a problem.

I haven't gotten that far yet, but Magical Heating and Lighting would make them a lot more viable. Faerie Ingredients might also be a possibility. Given Viola's focus on items, keeping just the Flawless tools might also be an option.

I can stat one up. That probably won't happen until after I've finished the Faerie Friend I've needed to stat up for years....Yes, that does mean someone else has access.

That's in the official errata--you'll notice two consecutive sections are labeled "Minor Supernatural Flaws".

Hmm, I didn't read it that way, but it looks like that's how all the example labs in the book are done. That's a hellacious Items bonus. In that case, I'll have to incorporate the "statues" somehow later, or maybe just take them as a Lesser Feature (which would give 30 builds points, the same as for Gregorius' lab). I feel like I ought to have them affect the lab in some way, even initially. Or I guess that's not so much of a problem if she doesn't set up the lab until later (she could incorporate them as a Lesser Feature initially, since the Defective Heating opens up one Virtue point, and then consider making them a Greater Feature after Refinement.

Looking through the examples also brought the Free Virtue Site of Legend to my attention--Halia's level might qualify as that.

I haven't decided on one yet, and in any case it might only be temporary, until new Virtues and Flaws increase the Warping. Got any suggestions?

I'll post a new version below.

Scott

VIOLA’S LAB

(Virtues and Flaws described within the text are labeled in parentheses.)

When the party of magi tasked with establishing Nova Castra arrived at the site of ancient Tanais, Viola immediately noticed a faerie regio on the site of the ruined temple to Poseidon on the north side of the city’s central square. At the mundane level, nothing was left of the temple but an altar within the foundations of the portico, before the entrance; a mosaic-tile basin three feet below ground level of what was once the temple’s main room periodically collects rainwater, from which Rego vis can be distilled. However, those in the party with Second Sight perceived a massive pair of bronze doors (Grand Entrance), doubtless a fae reflection of the doors that had once stood at the temple’s entrance. These doors formed the gateway to the regio.

By making a sacrificial feast of a horse, an animal sacred to Poseidon, Viola lured a number of faeries dressed as Greeks, who claimed to be the god’s children. One of them led her through the bronze doors, now studded with three gems each, into the first level of the regio, where, down a short flight of stairs, the temple was still intact (Regio, but with no Size bonus until the upper level is incorporated into the lab). An open roof (Defective Heating, but with no effect on Upkeep) allowed rain to fall into an ankle-deep pool in a mosaic-tiled basin, while the walls sported frescoes devoted to Poseidon, and, at the far end, a fountain in the form of a large statue of the god, from whose eyes flowed a waterfall. Disturbingly, the room also featured a half dozen “statues” of people who had been turned to stone. Viola would choose to establish her living quarters here.

Viola’s guide led her through the waterfall to pass down a staircase to an underground floor, lit only by natural light from the open roof up the stairs. Channels down the stairs and along the walls carried water from the fountain above (Greater Feature and Greater Focus), though a faerie curse had reduced the flow to a trickle (only a +3 total specialization bonus until the curse can be lifted). The room featured stone columns interspersed with an even greater number of stone statues, as well as a barred door and a large bas-relief of a seated couple, marred by the impression of what appeared to be a giant fist. Behind the door lay a kitchen filled with a large number of sororocidal and cannibalistic blind crones, the Handmaidens of Poseidon, who passed the time cooking one another and fighting over three orbs that served as eyes. These crones proved harmless, except to one another, so long as Viola resisted their importunings to enjoy a little home cooking.

The bas-relief proved to be a regio boundary. Leaving the company of the crones, Viola re-barred the door and followed the guide through the smashed portrait to enter the second regio level, a vast labyrinth formed of stalagmites under a dark, stormy, night sky. Deep in the labyrinth lay a large room full of dozens more “statues”, evidently the lair of the guide’s mother, a Gorgon who had once been the nymph Halia. The labyrinth also encompassed a stone-bricked courtyard centered around a stagnant pool from which rose a moss-covered altar (atop which lay chained yet another stone corpse—this one with an erect phallus); a single cloud in the otherwise clear sky above rained down upon the courtyard, yet not on the pool, and even the water that landed around the pool drained uphill, away from it. Viola reasoned that this pool might provide a source of Perdo vis, but she detected none there at that moment.

In the future, Viola will enchant the temple, granting Magical Heating to the lab, and also making her living quarters more comfortable; she may also provide Magical Lighting. The petrified men could become a Feature. Once the curse is lifted, she’ll extend the lab into the upper level of the regio, and it might be possible to train the Handmaidens as a horde, or at least let them out, making them Inhabitants. Depending on how changing Halia’s story changes Halia and the regio, a Natural Environment might exist on the upper regio level, and Halia might become a Greater Guardian, or perhaps simply have her Lair within the lab. The upper level of the regio would presumably also qualify as a Site of Legend.

Lab Stats:

Size: 0 (-1)
Refinement: 0
Base Safety: -1
General Quality: +7
Upkeep: +3
Safety: +3
Warping: +1
Health: 0
Aesthetics: +3
Specializations: +4 Items, +3 Teaching, +1 Cr, +1 Me

Major Virtue: Greater Feature (Running Water) (+2 Aesthetics , +1 Items)
Free Virtues: Familiar (+8 General Quality, +3 Safety), Flawless Equipment (+2 General Quality, +2 Upkeep, +2 Vis Extraction), Flawless Tools (+1 Upkeep, +2 Items), Grand Entrance (+2 Aesthetics), Magic Item (Viola’s quill talisman; +3 Teaching), Regio (+1 Warping), Servant (+1 Safety, +1 Aesthetics, +1 Me), Spotless (+1 Health, +1 Aesthetics, +1 Cr).
Free Flaw: Impregnable (–2 Aesthetics)
Minor Flaw: Defective Heating (-1 General Quality, -1 Health, -1 Aesthetics)
Major Flaw: Greater Focus (Running Water) (-2 General Quality, +2 Items)

Lab Enchantments
None

One possible result I can think of for the warping score is items tending to turn to stone - not sure how to represent that as a personality trait, though (the canonical example is things in an invisible lab turning invisible, so it seems a semi-reasonable result, if you want to go that way).

Portia didn't have the ritual mastered, so she'd have had 1 basic + 9 extra from the pawns of vis used + 10 extra from the faerie regio - a gold cord I think of 3 = 17 botch dice. That's an absurd number of botch dice.

Bear in mind the Ambulatory Laboratory has had its level increased to 50 in the errata - can Viola still learn that? And if she can, can she then cast it? I suppose technically you could try sponting it, although it would kill her if she botched (and probably seriously hurt even if she doesn't, although I haven't checked the figures). Viola is overconfident, but only as a minor flaw.

I'm not sure about the Site of Legend, at least at the moment. Halia isn't well enough known - if it was Medusa, that would be different. Of course, depending on how widely spread the story becomes, there might be an opportunity here...

I think you're understating your items bonus - it should be +3 for the feature, and +4 for the Focus. not +1 and +2.

Edit: I've now done the maths on the Ambulatory Laboratory. I think the most efficient way to do it is to cast using Ceremonial Magic and Innate Spontaneous Magic (but not Potent Spontaneous Magic, as with art scores under 10 it's more efficient to use the extra fatigue level for LLSM). In that case, her casting total is:

(Re 7 + Te 5 + Sta 2 + Aura 5 + W&G 2 + AL 3 + Phil 2 + die)/2 = (26 + die)/2, so 13 + die/2. Against a target level of 50, that means spending all 5 fatigue levels for a bonus of +25, then taking damage of 12 - die/2. With Viola's Small Frame, that's a Heavy Wound on a die roll less than 6, which would only have a chance to improve once a season, halve your study total and make lab work impossible. Spending vis would reduce the wound (and 3 pawns would mean it would be at worst a medium wound, which still keeps the same penalties but improves on a monthly basis), but increase the chance of a botch.

Probably not worth it? At least without improving her Arts.

Possibly. Once the Halia situation is resolved, the new story might suggest something different.

I don't think the mastery rule on eliminating botch dice is meant to apply to rituals. Yes, I just looked at the discussion from a couple of years ago, but I'm not convinced. I have no idea what someone haasn't errata'ed it to clarify.

I didn't know about that erratum--it must have been added after the initial set that I've already got marked in the book. Even if she could, and even though the erratum doesn't note it, making it level 50 makes it a ritual--and no thanks, Viola has no desire to blow 10 pawns of vis and risk all those botch dice.

And yes, the sponting would be insane--it would never have occurred to me it would be even theoretically possible. :slight_smile:

It looks like Viola will have to just install the lab, which she probably won't do until she deal with Halia first--that way she can add multiple inherent Virtues without extra work.

On the subject of errata...apparently Minor and Major Flaws now give back Build Points, which will affect how we do the labs. That would bring the hypocaust lab down to 20 points, right? It migiht allow Viola to do a litlte more without going over 20 points.

Scott

Oh, forgot two things.

It's in the descriptive text, but I reduced the effect of the Running Water Feature/Focus because the water is barely running at the moment; lifting the curse will fix that.

Second, what did you think about house-ruling the Upkeep for Magical Heating and Lighting?

Scott

I'm not sure either, but either way it's not relevant, as she didn't have it mastered anyway (if she had had it mastered, she would have lost at least some botch dice).

Actually, no - it's only a ritual if it has a level greater than 50 (page 114 of the main book).

LLSM is a really nice virtue - see the character I made in the Frightening Munchkinism thread, which could have pulled that spell off at gauntlet without a wound or (depending on interpretation of the Rules) risk - see https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/card-board-games-archive-links/116/1 .

With the undecorated flaw, yes.

Do you just want to make it a Lesser Feature?

It'll come up later with the Aegis, and so we have to decide. With a familiar, a level 25 Aegis, like we have now, is no big deal--but a level 40 or 50 starts to get dangerous.

Actually, no - it's only a ritual if it has a level greater than 50 (page 114 of the main book).

LLSM is a really nice virtue - see the character I made in the Frightening Munchkinism thread, which could have pulled that spell off at gauntlet without a wound or (depending on interpretation of the Rules) risk - see https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/card-board-games-archive-links/116/1 .
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I see it as a one-shot emergency capability--it's powerful, but not something you can do twice in a single encounter.

Probably. Maybe take extra Size, too.

Scott

I think on balance I lean towards allowing to to remove all botch dice, but I don't feel strongly either way.

I tend to think of it as being most useful in non-emergency situations, where you've got time to recover the fatigue.

Did you see the post at the top of this page?

Scott

Sorry - I had, but forgot to answer your question. I agree that it doesn't make much sense for Defective Heating/Lighting to have a lower Upkeep than the Magical variant.

Oh...I got confused on this answer. I meant I wanted to take the petrified figures as a Lesser Feature. I wanted to take the running water as a temporarily crippled Greater Feature, in order to avoid having to reinstall it after the water is fixed. Anyway, it more or less makes sense that, if the water flow is impaired, it might take a Major Virute's worth of space to get a the Minor Virtue's worth of benefit.

Scott

So house-ruling the Magical variants would be OK?

Scott

If it weren't for the Aegis, I'd go with keeping the botch dice, since having rituals be risky seems to be about the right flavor. However, it just doesn't work for botches to be that likely with the Aegis--and I'm guessing most other rituals aren't even used often enough for anyone to bother mastering them.

I tend to think of it as being most useful in non-emergency situations, where you've got time to recover the fatigue.
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Yes, I guess so. Not being a proper munchkin, I've never used it--but then, Viola has a way of avoiding casting spells...or engaging in Certamen...or pretty much anything else magical. :slight_smile:

Scott

Bah! What's the point in being a magus if you don't cast spells? Looks at the shear number of spontaneous spells Gregorius cast in the Barrows thread. I'm slightly amazed he didn't botch at all during that - he barely even rolled any zeroes. He'll probably start being a bit more cautious once he has a few nasty botches under his belt.

Here's my draft for a revised version of Tasia's lab.

Weirdly, the errata'ed lab Build Points rule makes it very difficult to buy a lab worth 10 or 20 points, unless it has a positive Refinement: if you balance the Virtues with Flaws, you get 0 points, and if you need an extra point of Size to install a Minor Virtue, you get 30 points, 20 for the size and 10 for the Virtue. Gregorius's lab doesn't have that difficulty because one Minor Virtue has already been paid for as a Magic Item. Viola's doesn't have that problem because she's leaving one point of space unused. It looks like Tasia went a similar route, leaving all the extra space vacant, so I'll just go with that--that'll make each of the three member labs 20 points.

Wow, there's something I missed before: Superior Equipment and Tools give Safety bonuses, while the Flawless varieties don't. I'm going to go ahead and start Tasia's out as Flawless, since it's easier for a new magus to downgrade than to upgrade.

Size: +1 (0)
Refinement: 0
General Quality +2
Upkeep: +2
Safety: 0
Warping: 0
Health: +2
Aesthetics:: +2

Specialtizations: +2 Vis Extraction, +1 Cr, +1 Ig, +1 Te

Minor Virtue: Spacious (+2 Safety, +1 Aesthetics)
Free Virtues: Flawless Equipment (+2 General Quality, +2 Upkeep, +2 Vis Extraction), Flawless Tools (+1 Upkeep, +2 Items), Magical Heating (-1 Upkeep, +1 Health, +1 Aesthetics, +1 Ig), Spotless (+1 Health, +1 Aesthetics, +1 Cr)
Minor Flaw: Awkward Shape (-2 Safety, -1 Aesthetics)

Scott

EDIT: I should probably add Subterranean as well. I'm trying to figure out if Viola's lab should have that, too (I PM'ed amul to see if I can get a better idea of the temple's layout), though I think she plans to add Magical Heating and Lighting in any case, which would make the underground location moot.

Aside from being older and wiser, Viola has a different perspective on botching, because she has a longer natural lifespan, which she'd rather take advantage of, instead of falling into an early Final Twilight. :slight_smile:

Scott

Agreed on adding subterranean to Tasia's lab. I don't think it's necessary for Viola's - there's nothing indicating it's underground.

Yes, it seems to be underground. One post places the mosaic basin in the ruined temple three feet below the current ground level; it would have been closer to the original surface, given the accumulation of layers over time, but it would still have to be recessed in order to act as a basin: https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/escort-quests-after-death/304/1. The basin itself may or may not have been below ground, but the point is, that level of the original temple (the temple proper) was the ground floor. I'm sure it had steps leading up to it, in the normal Greek style, and so I suppose it might be more accurate to say that the temple proper was a few feet above ground level.

The room that Viola wants to use as a lab is downstairs from the main room of the temple: https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/escort-quests-after-death/304/1), and you have to walk through it to get to the stairs, and there's no mention of turning around behind the waterfall. That would allow the light to shine down the stairs. However, that would also place the underground floor at a point not underneath the ground floor, which is strange architecture, to say the least (it is a faerie regio, but it's supposed to be a copy of the original temple).

Scott

Apparently, as a result of plinth construction, the basements of Greek temples were typically at least partly above-ground. Of course, that doesn't necessarily imply windows for light and ventilation.

Scott

I've uploaded new maps of the cave levels. I adjusted the scale downwards to match the surface map, and then made the caves larger (the smaller scale made them too small), and added living quarters.

I tried embedding the images rather than linking to them, but in my browser at least (Firefox), that crops them on the righthand side, and anyway it clutters up the thread.

Note that we've actually got equipment for 11 labs, not 10--that lab on the second level of the caves was intact.

Scott

BTW, I found one more tidbit by accident when searching old posts: amul intended the fair in the children's regio within the barrows to be a source of a Secondary Income. He asked for suggestions on what product(s) might come from there. Any ideas?

Scott